Morning folks. Hope you’re feeling good today, with just four days remaining until the start of the season, in which I’ve got to be honest it has absolutely flown by.
I’ve rather enjoyed my time off. I’m not quite chomping at the bit yet though; probably because I’m unsure what to make of this Arsenal team as it stands, so I thought I’d talk today about what I think might unfold for the season. After all, that seems apt given that the world and his wife appear to be making predictions on league table finishes, like Paul Merson who had gone full table analysis on us on Sky Sports and predicting us to go one worse than last season at the expense of United.
We all know that these kind of predictions are designed only to irate and excite fans in equal measure and they play very little part in doing either, but it fills a little bit more online space and gives these media companies a few more hits that they so desperately crave.
Our situation is an interesting one though. We ended the season in form. We won an FA Cup. We’ve just had a nice little trinket as a bit of a pre season pick-me-up. Plus we’ve made a couple of signings. But unlike the United fans I know who are like the proverbial cat that has had the cream parked under its whiskers, many like me don’t find themselves getting too excited.
I think that’s because we know we’re short in midfield, and that despite the promises of a ‘catalyst for change’, we’re still yet to see anything that seismic that would have us all bouncing off the walls like the United fans are doing at the moment. I’m not suggesting we spunk cash for the hell of it, but part of the ‘catalyst’ seemed to be to do work earlier than normal, to have the job mostly done by the time the new season starts and sadly it seems like we’re not quite ready yet.
Can any of us predict who will start and how many players will be ready for Leicester on Friday? Or who our best line up is? I’d wager not many, because we haven’t really seen it, due to players away, injured, etc, etc. So whilst I’m happy the new season is finally upon us, I’m a little unsure as to how we’re going to handle it.
I have neither hope nor despair for the new season. And that is an odd feeling my friends.
It’s not even transfer related completely, although if we’d have already signed Lemar and Seri it would have helped, but there just seems to be a lot of balls in the air at the moment and I would have hoped some of them would have hurtled back down towards earth by now.
Perhaps it’s the question marks over how this team will react to the tough start that has me less excited. It’s fair to say it’s a pretty dastardly start for us and you know the old clichés about not winning the league in the first ten games but losing it which, coupled with our pretty rubbish start to a season in the last few years, suggests to me that I have every right to be a little apprehensive.
I guess what I need is some actual games to make some snap judgements on. After all, that’s what we as football fans are best at, right? By the time September comes we’ll know what our Europa League group is, we’ll have gone through three rounds of Premier League matches and the team will be taking shape, whilst the transfer window will have slammed shut. We’ll know by then whether the ‘catalyst for change’ was more of a ‘slight nudge in the direction of, but not enough to rock the establishment at the club’ and we can start to assess what’s going right and what’s gone wrong.
But until then we remain in this holding pattern. It’s a pattern that many of the Gooners I speak to feel involved in too and in a sense, we just can’t wait to see the end of August already, just so we know where we stand.
Until tomorrow peeps.